A full parking lot and a packed lobby on a frigid Friday night at the Bucks County Community College’s Lower Bucks Campus in Bristol gave testament that love for the arts is alive and well in Lower Bucks.
The gathered guests jumped at the chance to sip some wine and take in more than 200 pieces from local artists during the opening reception of the Show Some HeART 125 exhibit. It is the sixth year for the showcase, which opened on Feb. 1 and will run through March 5 in the Lower Bucks Campus gallery.
“Our goal is threefold,” said James Sell, executive director for the college’s Lower Bucks Campus. “To highlight local artists, to bring people to our campus and to raise money for the BCCC Foundation Scholarship fund.”
The pieces, ranging from acrylic and oil paintings to photography and ceramics, are priced to own at $125 each, with $25 of the sale benefitting the scholarship fund, helping students continue to attend the school.
“All artists are encouraged to participate,” said Sell. “It has become a very popular show. We typically get 180-200 entries from groups such as Artists of Bristol on the Delaware, Artsbridge, Artists of Yardley and the New Hope Art League as well as individual artists.”
Visitors carefully strolled down the hallways, taking in each piece from artists including Kate Viola, Janice Watson and Christopher Bosse. Next to bucolic landscapes of countryside living hung colorful explosions of abstract color.
Started in 2010 with a modest 45 selections, the Show Some HeART 125 exhibit has grown into a landmark annual event for the Lower Bucks gallery. The school expanded the gallery in 2013 through the efforts by a coalition of artistic organizations looking to establish more permanent exhibit spaces in Bucks County.
The concentrated interest to reinvigorate the Lower Bucks County arts scene has seen a flurry of activity in the area, with the highest-profile development being the opening of the Centre for the Arts on Mill Street in Bristol.
At the Show Some HeART opening reception, Bill Pezza, president of Raising the Bar, the local nonprofit organization that led the establishment of the Centre for the Arts, announced that the gallery has selected its nominee for the 2016 Hall of Fame, Rose Marie Strippoli. A staple of the Bucks County cultural scene, Strippoli plays an instrumental part gathering works for the annual Show Some HeART exhibit.
The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All art pieces are available for purchase.
Show Some HeART is on display at The Gallery at Lower Bucks Campus, 1304 Veterans Highway in Bristol. For information, visit http://www.bucks.edu/campus/lbc/thegalleryatlowerbuckscampus.